Our architects recommended we build our house on pad foundations instead of strip foundations, which are more common. The advantage of having pad foundations are that you use less concrete (each pad is between 450x450mm and 800x80mm wide and at least 300mm deep) which means it is more environmentally friendly and cheaper as you use less material. By using pad foundations you also disturb the ground less than you would with strip foundations.
As the structure of our house is made from glulam posts and beams, we have one pad under each post. We also have some strip foundations, mainly along the external walls. When 2 pads were close together we merged them into one, keeping the specifications of the bigger one.
Below is a picture which shows how our house is built on posts – each post has a foundation pad below it. Due to the slope of the ground the finished level of each pad had to be carefully measured, although the posts can be slightly altered as they sit on galvanised steel ‘foots’ that are fixed to steel plates, which are bolted to the concrete pad.
If you want to know more about foundations click here for a clear and comprehensive website.